What is the purpose of these modules?

These modules have been developed with the aims of:

  1. Introducing you to some statistical concepts associated with producing, presenting and interpreting data.
  2. Developing your skills in critical analysis and synthesis of statistical information.
  3. Providing you with the opportunity to demonstrate your statistical literacy skills.


What is the purpose of statistics?

  1. To describe a group, for example, the ages of students enrolled in Level 1 subjects at the University of Wollongong.
  2. To compare two groups, for example, comparing the entrance ranking of students enrolled to study different majors or comparing the beginning salaries of different groups of graduates.
  3. To investigate and measure associations and relationships within everyday and academic contexts.
  4. To make informed interpretations about an association or relationship, for example, some recent research has indicated that students from public schools do better at University than students from private schools who have the same entrance ranking and are studying the same degree. Thus, based on these results we might predict that students from public schools have better developed independent learning skills than students from private schools.  


What is statistics and what is statistical literacy?

Statistics can be described as the systematic study of data and statistical literacy is the ability to critically evaluate the data that is presented. The University of Wollongong statistical literacy programme is divided into the following 3 modules.

Module 1. Producing data

Module 2. Describing, Clarifying and Presenting Data

Module 3. Interpreting data

Completing these modules will help you to develop the skills you need to:

  • look behind the data with which you are presented at University and in your everyday experiences,
  • ask why these data are being presented in those forms,
  • ask what questions can be answered or what arguments are being made with these data.

As you work through these modules you should become much more critical about the way data is produced, the way data is presented and the way data is interpreted.

Last reviewed: 12 August, 2013